Mary Garnet Kilburn
SOUTH YARMOUTH, MA - On Friday, July 1, Mary Kilburn (Vasicek) peacefully died at home. She was born in 1942, the only child of Rostislav and Helen Vasicek, and is survived by her husband C. William Kilburn; her son William Garth Kilburn, of Nashville, TN; her daughter Amy Lynn Charron, of West Yarmouth, MA; and four wonderful grandchildren.
Mary was born in Baltimore, MD, and attended public school there, including Robert E. Lee PS #49, a special school where students completed three years of junior high school in just two. After graduating from Brooklyn Park High School, Mary attended Baltimore Junior College, where she played field hockey; served on the Homecoming Court; and was initiated into Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor scholarship fraternity for junior colleges. In 1960 the student body selected her as May Queen. She then attended McCoy College at Johns Hopkins University and Towson State University.
Mary and Bill were married in 1962 and had a traditional Czech wedding with a reception that lasted two days. They honeymooned in Nassau, Bahamas.
While raising her family, Mary worked for several fine Baltimore institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, the Kennedy Institute, Gilman School, Russell T. Baker Company, and Mercantile Bank and Trust. She enjoyed skiing, playing tennis, and bridge.
In 1985 Mary and her husband purchased Trail’s End, a country inn, and moved to Wilmington. There they built a reputation for outstanding accommodations and service, winning national recognition and many awards. Mary also wrote and published the “Trail’s End Cookbook,” a 97-page collection of treasured recipes. She became a board member for the Vermont Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Mount Snow/Haystack Chamber of Commerce.
Wanting to be near their daughter and young granddaughters, Mary and Bill moved to Cape Cod in 1997 and purchased the Honeysuckle Hill Bed and Breakfast in West Barnstable, MA. Their marketing efforts and their love of innkeeping earned them the Cape Cod Life magazine’s “Best of the Cape” awards for several years. They were members of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, and the West Barnstable Civic Association. Mary was also a member of the Dig and Delve Garden club, the Republican National Committee, and the Heritage Foundation.
Mary’s motto in life was “simplify.” She tried to incorporate it into everything she did and would often quote Longfellow who once said “In all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” Less is best, she believed.
In 2004 the couple sold the B&B and retired to South Yarmouth, MA, where Mary enjoyed reading, gardening, knitting, and crosswords. She also liked staying in touch with family and friends with notes, cards, and letters. Once Mary learned people’s birth date, she would always remember them with a card.
Mary and Bill loved the island of Bermuda and became members of the St. George’s Club, returning to visit year after year. Mary had a beautiful collection of beach glass thanks to the shores of Bermuda. In summers on the Cape, friends could find Bill and Mary at the Bass River beach.
A memorial service was held on Thursday, July 14, in South Yarmouth, MA. Interment will be private.